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Ames Pond—A Stoughton Summer Treasure for all Ages

Stoughton history is woven through swim lessons at the pond.

Not only does Stoughton’s provide a scenic view and fishing hole, it provides fantastic family programs and history. 

Each year the Stoughton Recreation Department offers swim lessons at the pond.  Each session is two weeks in duration and parents like Laura Mone rave about its quality saying, “My family has been going to the pond since 1999 and all four of my children have taken swim lessons there, and only there.”

In fact, Mone goes on to explain that her oldest son, “Robert was the first kid at his summer camp to be able to swim a mile and another son of mine swam on the Stoughton Swim Team. I attribute their abilities to the lessons at the pond.”

Mone said she felt it was underutilized and it was obviously a great resource for kids and families.

Ames Pond is a wealth of generational history, as a visit on any given day would prove.  Even John Denison began with the recreation department as a lifeguard long before becoming the department’s director. 

The common thread shared between the majority of pond-goers are the swim lessons. 

Residents raved about how they or their children enjoyed a strong kinship with the other pond-goers who have taken part in the swim lesson program.

Danielle Doherty, Amanda Doherty and Ashlee Jordan are no exception, having met in 2001 in their beginner swim class.  Even while attending different elementary schools, they always looked forward to summer, when swim classes would begin again.

Continuing with swim classes, and now as members of the pond’s swim team, they have developed an even larger group of pond pals. They meet daily, hang out and then participate in the free swim team that Ames Pond offers. 

The group has grown to eight (six from Stoughton and two from Randolph), all bonded by summer memories and swimming. 

The girls joke about how close they have all become saying, “Our families are now to the point that we get together for dinners and parties. It’s pretty wild.”

The reflections of both Laura Mone and Danielle Doherty speak volumes. Residents must admit that it is pretty wild that such a great Stoughton resource isn’t utilized more. 

Now that August has begun, families may be growing tired of the same old summer routine, perhaps now it the most opportune time to check out Stoughton’s waterfront for yourself.

Day passes range from $1 to $3 for Stoughton residents and from $3 to $6 for non-residents. are on duty at the pond from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. until August 14.

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Ames Pond’s Direct Website - http://www.stoughton.org/Recreation/AmesPond

Directions to Ames Pond (As received from the Recreation Department):

From Stoughton Center take Rte. 138 to Town Spa Pizza and take a right onto Plain St.  Follow Plain St. until you come to the second intersection, West St. take a left and follow it all the way to Ames Pond.  At the end of the causeway take a left at the stop sign (Highland St.) and it is on the left.

lowertaxes August 05, 2011 at 08:12 PM
The swim lessons at Ames Pond are fantastic!!!! I had originally had my kids take lessons at the YMCA in Easton and thought that my kids didn't learn much from them. Last year I had my youngest son take classes at Ames and I was blown away by all he learned. The instructors were great and the kids have a blast, not to mention you can't beat the price.
Dwight Mac Kerron August 06, 2011 at 11:29 AM
My kids learned to swim on Ames Pond, and I am lucky enough to have my back yard go down to the pond on the northern side of the causeway. The Map of the 25 Divisions (1725) shows no pond, but rather Trout Brook and Trout Brook Meadow, and long before that map was made, Indians apparently were planting along that small waterway, as many arrowheads have been found in nearby fields . Stoughton people including Nathan Drake made small dams in the 1700's and then Oliver Ames raised the water level two feet in 1825 when he built the dam which created what he called the Great Pond, which powered a hammershop at the end of the pond and further downstream other shovel shops in the center of North Easton. Before that, much of the pond and certainly the land right under where kids take their lessons was meadow, which Oliver Ames bought from the Voses, (the walls of whose farm form a cone shaped series of walls in the woods to the west) so that he could "flow" it. He paid many other abutting landowners yearly flowage fees, which I am told, still appear on some old deeds. As your kids swim in Ames Pond, you can muse that they are swimming in a waterway, that powered the hammers in that shop down at the end of the pond, now a private dwelling, that pounded out the shovels, that built the railroad which spanned the country....that we live in.
lowertaxes August 06, 2011 at 02:39 PM
Great history lesson Dwight, thanks.
Barbara Harris August 07, 2011 at 11:53 AM
I did not realize there was so much history wrapped up in Ames Pond.Thank-you Dwight for that knowledge.I also think these articles are a good way of reminding us of the past.I grew up taking swimming lessons at Ames pond as a child,but as time goes on and schedules get full you forget about the treasures right here in our own backyard.Thank You Christine.
David Allen Lambert August 07, 2011 at 05:43 PM
Dwight - nice history indeed. And someday my Mortimer Lamb watercolor of the causeway will come to the Historical Society. As you recall the Porter's were road builders and were responsible for building the causeway ca. 1830's.
Fiscal Conservative August 07, 2011 at 07:51 PM
I remember swimming at Ames Pond BEFORE the Rec Dept had control of it. Man, I'm an old ...., aren't I?

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